Today in politics: Thursday, November 28

Last updated 05:00 28/11/2013

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Politics

John Key's rural New Zealand problem Jo Doolan: Budget takes aim at child poverty, but does it do too much? Vodafone Rural Broadband uptake prompts inquiry call Matthew Hooton and Dirty Politics: anatomy of the vast right-wing conspiracy Greens leadership race too close to call Former ACT secretary referred to police over late declaration of donations Jenny Shipley among Mainzeal directors facing legal action Remember that time Helen Clark called John Campbell a 'sanctimonious little creep'? Support for mass KiwiSaver enrolment Auckland housing land released by Crown

OUTSIDER MAKES A PLAY FOR NORMAN'S JOB

A little-known Green candidate has made a surprise pitch for the party's co-leadership. Auckland Council policy analyst David Hay says Russel Norman has done a great job, but it is time for a change. Currently ranked 16th, he will make a stand at the party's conference in May, but only if he is given a higher list placing. Dr Norman responded by saying he was "very confident" he would remain co-leader.

BILL SEEKS TO MODERNISE NATION'S COURT SYSTEM

A new 1238-page bill to modernise the justice system has been introduced to Parliament. Justice Minister Judith Collins said the Judicature Modernisation Bill was aimed at modernising the courts system and making it more transparent. It would ensure all written judgments were posted online, migrate more of the court's work online, increase the use of video appearances, and combine all 59 district courts into one entity.

GREENS GIVE HUGHES THE NOD TO REMAIN UNSEATED

The Greens have given MP Gareth Hughes an exemption from the party's usual rule that candidates must stand in electorate seats. Instead, he will run in 2014 as a list-only candidate so he can focus on boosting the party's youth vote. He stood in Ohariu in 2011, but the party has chosen Tane Woodley to stand there next year. Mr Woodley is a planner with Civil Defence and an army reservist. He has had 22 years in the army as a regular and as a reservist.

NO IFS OR BUTS: SMOKE MUST NOT WAFT INDOORS

Parliamentary Service has installed ‘‘ash cylinders’’ outside several entrances where the beltway’s smokers take their breaks. However, yesterday it sent out a stern email pointing out that smoking was not permitted where smoke could waft into the building, and the cylinders were to prevent smokers from littering. ‘‘The ash cylinders are for the disposal of cigarette butts before entering the buildings, and are not for supporting smoking at those locations.’’

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